Blog Title: The Fit Habit
About: Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. She shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.
Notes from Episode #099: The 12-year overnight success. How I stuck with blogging for 12 years before seeing any signs of success.
Fun fact: Caren is collecting citizenships – she was born in Canada to Irish parents. She also is a citizen of the US and the UK. Now she is thinking about getting her Irish citizenship. She feels like a citizen of the world!
Caren has been a blogger for about 13 years.
Caren was really into yoga and went to India to learn about being a yoga teacher. Through that experience, she realized she didn’t want to teach it. But she initially had a blog about yoga and then got tired of her title and niche (but she doesn’t recommend doing this!) and moved on. Don’t be a niche jumper!
The past 5-6 years, Caren’s focused on health & wellness, food and fitness in the blogging space.
Caren recommends that you figure out your niche as soon as possible. The irony is that the only way to figure that out is to keep writing. You need passion and inherent opinions so you never run out of things to say. You might have one niche but you can write about it from a million different angles.
Think about who you are writing for. Are you writing for yourself or your audience?
Caren wasn’t reaching her end-game – to be a full time blogger. So she realized she wasn’t doing things right. She wasn’t gaining traffic. She was checking her photography and writing.
Caren realized she didn’t have the technical elements lined up either. Page speed, redirect loops and pieces like this were hindering her ability to show up anywhere for her audience to find her.
She signed up for a mini audit with Casey Markee and right off the bat he helped her improve traffic. A host change was needed and a few other things that made a world of difference before the real audit came.
The changes Caren implemented has brought her exponential growth.
Caren looked at the ways to grow traffic. Beyond the technical piece of SEO, Caren was floored at how thin her content was. Some posts were orphans (no arms or legs) and Google didn’t value it.
Caren finally realized the value of rich content once she went over this. She didn’t know what rich content was originally, it was too vague to be on her radar. This was before branding even. If there’s nothing else linking to that orphan post that you have and nothing holding it up, supporting it, then it is in essence dragging your site down.
A post that answers all the readers questions without too much pontificating is a really good post. There’s a balancing act of injecting your personality into your writing and not oversharing.
Caren keeps her site resource rich and sticks to the topic at hand. Social media and the About Me page on her site are where she shares her personal side.
You can still inject your personality into the posts and your website if you don’t overwhelm or bombard your readers with it.
Go back to your older content and reread your stuff.
It’s a good idea to ask yourself, “If I didn’t know anything about this topic, would my questions be answered in this post?”
Is my writing actionable? You need to be providing your audience tactics and actionable steps.
Judge, critic, delete/redirect your work.
If you’re a newer blogger, help your audience as quick and easy as possible with your words and call to action.
Check out fellow bloggers who are in your same genre and see what they are doing with the topic you are writing on. Is there content in line with yours? What can you learn from them to make yourself better? What can you improve on to be thorough?
You want your audience to trust you. But you want to stand out too. Whatever you write on, there’s a million others writing about the same topic so as you write and share and be an influencer, you need to be yourself as well as find your voice. People have to connect with you and either they do or don’t. So think about how you portray yourself to your audience but remember those that jive with you will, and some just won’t.
It’s interesting to see what people equate with trust as you build your rapport with your audience.
Caren isn’t blogging full time (yet) but she can finally see the light. She’s got another job she makes an income from but always comes back to this blogging and she can’t imagine a life without it. She loves the creative expression and she loves the food blogging community.
Thinking you’ll get rich blogging is not a good perspective because there’s only a few unicorns like that.
If you have a passion for it you’ll want to continue it.
Handling the ups and downs:
Remember you have to take a break from blogging or difficult parts of life if they punch you in the face and then get back to it when you’re ready. Don’t fry yourself out.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations of making blogging carry you.
New bloggers: Ask yourself why are you doing it and who are you doing it for? You need to know this up front.
Strategic – Figure out what your intention is behind blogging and what’s the user experience for your audience. That’ll help set you up for success.
Mindset – Get ready to work harder and longer and execute. Plan and educate yourself – you are everything wrapped into one person – the writer, the marketer, the accountant, the technical person, etc.
Learn early on what you’re learning to outsource and where you’re willing to put money into your business. You have to invest time, sweat equity and money.
Own your content.
Caren’s favorite quote: Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Helpful references from the episode:
Casey Markee – SEO Audit
iMark Interative – for a site speed tune up
The Blog Fixer – for no-follow fixes (I had no idea you had to no-follow affiliate links)
Milo Tree – for growing Instagram (or anything else)
Food Blogger Central Facebook Group – I love this group!
Food Blogger Pro
Elite Blog Academy (to a lesser extent)
Everything Food Conference
Eat Blog Talk and the Food Blogger Pro podcast!